9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, 31 Mar 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2006   
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November 29, 2006
Embargoed 11.30am (AEST)

Motorbikes gain in popularity, but we still like our cars: ABS

Australian motorists are taking to two wheels in greater numbers, according to figures from the annual Motor Vehicle Census released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

There were 14.4 million registered vehicles in Australia in 2006, an increase of 12% since 2002.

Motorcycles showed the greatest increase (24.8%), climbing from 370,982 in 2002 to 463,057 in 2006. Passenger vehicles went from 10.1 million to 11.2 million (10.8%) in the same period.

The average age of motor vehicles has fallen slightly, down from 10.7 years in 1997 to 10.1 years in 2006.

Tasmanians drove the oldest vehicles, with an average age of 12.0 years, while New South Wales and the Northern Territory had the youngest, at 9.1 years.

Campervans were the oldest type of vehicle registered, with an average age of 18.9 years, while motorcycles were the youngest, at 9.4 years.

In 2006, there was an average of 699 motor vehicles per 1,000 people, an increase of 45 vehicles per 1,000 from 2002. The Northern Territory had the lowest number of vehicles per capita (554 per 1,000), and Western Australia the highest (784 per 1,000).

Petrol was used by 87.1% of all vehicles while 10.6% used diesel, and the remaining 2.3% used other types of fuel such as liquefied petroleum gas.

Full details can be found in Motor Vehicle Census (cat. no. 9309.0), which can be downloaded free from the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au.